What is Clutter? A Simple Clutter Checklist

pic by bodie and fou on stilinspiration blog

(Bodie and Fou’s Simple Home)

With only two weeks left before we move to our new home I am in the final stretch of deciding what comes to the new house and what gets donated.

There are so many sites and how-to’s regarding decluttering. All of them very useful when you need to know where to start. But what happens when you’ve been living simply for a while and you get a little stuck.

We are moving from an almost 1400 square foot house to a house that is under 1100 square feet so I have been ruthless about letting things go. But I find myself a little stuck with a few items.

When I came across a post on Joshua Becker’s Blog Becoming Minimalist I was so relieved to find my answer on how to get “unstuck”.

Joshua wrote about using a Guide to help you define what clutter is to you. For example, he wrote:

1. Too much stuff in too small a space.

2. Anything we no longer use or love

3. Anything that leads to a feeling of disorganization.

I agree with all of the above!

I also added a few of my own:

4. The item does not have a home.  

This reminds me of the saying, “A place for everything and everything in it’s place.” Realistically, in my home things may not always be in their place but it should always have a place to go back to. I feel much calmer when I know that something has a home. If I have to work too hard to find a home for something than it needs to go.

5. Anything that does not contribute to the “feel” of our home. 

When I create a home my guiding principle more than picking paint colors, furniture, etc. is how do I want the house to “feel”. Once I know this everything else is much easier for me to decide. The feel of our new home is relaxed, laid-back, light and airy with a calming beach vibe. If something does not contribute to that feeling then out it goes.

Creating this “cheat-sheet” has helped tremendously. When I find myself hemming and hawing about keeping something I can now run through this checklist and decide what to do.

I feel some serious purging about to happen.

So how do you decide what is clutter? I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

Before you go I’d like to thank you so much for reading! If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to the indobay blog and join me on Facebook.

 

 

House Snoop: My Home…The kitchen before and after

housetour_11 {picture of our current living room}

The countdown has begun! 

Our family has less than 4 weeks before we make the big move to the West Coast of Florida. I’m so excited to be by water! We visited our St. Petersburg home over the Mother’s day weekend. There is nothing like living by the water. The breeze, the energy, the smells, the sailboats…it’s just so calming and invigorating at the same time! One evening while sitting on a bench looking out into the Bay with my big Mr. while the little Mr. scootered about I found myself thinking how fortunate I felt to be able to live here. Blessed!

As much as I’m ready to head to the new house, as I pack up our current home I find myself looking around thinking how fortunate we were to have spent the last 5 years in this home. It’s a good house.

Recently I went through pictures of our current home and realized that after our kitchen renovation this past Summer I never formally posted the before and afters. So here goes…

What started this whole crazy renovation was this fridge that sat in the middle of our kitchen. You can see it below smack dab in the middle against the structural wall that would soon be gone. This was the view from the front door before. Bye, bye walls.

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Walls were removed, the fridge finally had a home and the washer and dryer now live peacefully hidden in a corner cabinet. I love how the space was opened up and every inch was used efficiently. Looking at the before and afters, I can’t even believe it’s the same house!

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Before our cabinets were white and dull. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE white cabinets. But these were no longer bright white and if I’m to be completely honest, they were not the best quality.

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With the new kitchen we opted to go with cabinets in a grey, driftwood style. I love them! I’m not a huge fan of a bunch of upper cabinets.However, I did go with the advice of the kitchen designer who recommended some upper cabinets. In retrospect, I should have listened to my gut that said we wouldn’t need the uppers. As a compromise, I did away with one set of uppers and instead had custom floating wooden shelves made with reclaimed wood. Oh how I will miss those shelves.

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We also chose to use reclaimed wood under the kitchen bar area. This picture below is what it looked like before. Yucky, weird angles.

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Just like the kitchen counters we went with a white quartz with reclaimed wood below. We use this area all the time. It’s where we play games, eat, do homework, work on the computer… you name it we do it right here.

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Here are a few more photos. Window area before.

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Window area after.

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Looking out from kitchen towards the front door before. See that blue tape on the ugly laminate counter top. That blue tape was where I envisioned our new sink on white pretty counter tops.

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Looking out towards the front door after.

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Oh how far you’ve come little house.

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I will miss you, especially this lovely kitchen. But most of all I will miss how you hosted our dinners with friends and family. You were the gathering space of many dinners and fun times with my little and big Mr. You heard us laugh til our sides ached. You witnessed us cry til our eyes dried up after our Jackson passed away. You watched our little one grow from little boy to an awesome twelve year old. You were a comforting sanctuary. You were our home. Now someone else gets to make their own beautiful memories in your comforting walls. Be well little house.

Nourish: Sprouted Rice & Quinoa Sliders

quinoaburgers_01 There are certain ingredients in our home that are staples. One is Quinoa and the other avocados. Avocados are for this recipe which is my go to lunch. I’m slightly obsessed with avos on toast! The quinoa is so that we can eat this favorite, easy delicious meal…

Crispy Sprouted Rice & Quinoa Sliders

INGREDIENTS

  • Organic (optional) Sprouted Rice & Quinoa Blend *This is a blend of Sprouted Brown and Red Rice, Quinoa and Wild Rice. I’ve also made this just with Quinoa…still yummy
  • Panko or any Bread Crumbs will do
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup coarsely grated zucchini
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt or a natural sea salt of your choice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Mini burger buns (optional), lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado slices, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a medium saucepan, cook the quinoa rice blend according to the directions. Once the grain is tender and all the water has been absorbed spread on a baking sheet to cool.
  2.  In a bowl, whisk the eggs. Squeeze the liquid from the grated zucchini and add the zucchini to the eggs. Stir in the cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix in the quinoa and bread crumbs. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Using a 1/4-cup measure, scoop 12 mounds and form each one into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Full Disclosure: I just use my hands to scoop out what feels like a good size. Mine are probably a little bigger than a slider but smaller than a burger. As you can see from the photo my burgers are not evenly sized. :)
  4. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add 6 patties and cook until golden on the bottom, 3-5 minutes. I like mine a little bit burnt so I tend to go longer on my cooking time. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the skillet, flip the patties and cook for 3 minutes, until crisp. Repeat with the remaining patties and oil.
  5. Serve with buns (optional-I eat them without and they are super tasty), lettuce, tomatoes, and avocados. Also great with some onions!

*adapted from this recipe on Food and Wine

That’s it! This meal does require a little prep time but I promise you it will be worth the little extra effort. Enjoy! Oh yes, and if you make the recipe please let me know what you think either in the comments below or you can e-mail me at tania@liveindobay.com.

Before you go I’d like to thank you so much for reading! If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to the indobay blog and join me on Facebook.

Monday Quote & Lessons from the Mat

You don't always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go, and see what happens. On my yoga mat this morning TRUST was what was coming up for me. As I moved through postures I yearned to go a little deeper, breathe a little easier, move a little further in the pose. I then remembered to trust that exactly where I was in my practice this day at that moment was exactly where I was suppose to be.

Then I stumbled upon this quote…hmmm? Someone trying to tell me something.

Happy Monday and relish in a beautiful week.

Before you go I’d like to thank you so much for reading! If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to the indobay blog and join me on Facebook.

One Less: Using Coconut Oil as a Moisturizer for Face, Body and Hair

coconut {one less is an experiment  where I am removing over the counter, commercial products that are typically filled with the chemical “bad stuff” and replacing those products with more of the natural, good stuff one product at a time.}

You may remember this post where I wrote about how I switched from over the counter, commercial facial cleanser for Organic, Unrefined Honey. I made this switch last Summer (2013) after I vowed to remove as many, eventually all, over the counter, chemical laden face, hair and body products.

One Less became my motto…

One less product with a bunch of toxic ingredients that I can’t even pronounce.

One less item in my bathroom.

One less beauty product that didn’t deliver.

If I can’t eat it then it does not belong on my skin or hair.

Since I started this experiment I have not looked back and I still love using Raw, Organic Honey on my face! About the same time that I made the switch to using honey on my face I began using Organic, Unrefined Coconut Oil on my face, body and hair. I even put it in my coffee for added flavor and good fats. I’m hooked! I absolutely would never go back to any other way of moisturizing.

If you Google coconut oil there are a bazillion sites where you can read all about the benefits and uses. Wellness Mama is one of my favorite sites for Wellness and D.I.Y natural products. Katie from Wellness Mama happens to have one of the most comprehensive lists I’ve come across. You can read it here. Be warned, she lists 101 uses and you just may want to try them all!

I have to tell you I get such a rush (geeky I know) about using products that not only can I use in the kitchen but I can also use in the bathroom. Committing to one less has simplified my life so much! Where I use to spend way too much time in the beauty aisles of drug stores, now I pick up my honey and coconut oil at the same time I’m grocery shopping. Plus, I use to have countless multiples of products. I’d try one facial cleanser but then the next time I went shopping I’d be seduced by the latest and greatest. Before you know it the drawers in my bathroom were filled with half empty jars of lotions and potions. Ugh!  Time and money wasted…no thank you!

Oh, I almost forgot…here is one of my favorite hair conditioner recipes. So good!Follow my pinterest board, Natural Beauty, to find some other fantastic D.I.Y recipes.

Anyone else want to join me and declare ONE LESS! I’d love to hear of any uses for coconut oil that you use and love or for any other beauty product alternative.

Thank you so much for reading! If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to the indobay blog and join me on Facebook.